Wednesday, June 24, 2009
We just received word that our sweet little friend, Sadie Huish, is in her last hours. She has fought long and hard and is now ready to go Home. We love you, Sadie, and will miss you terribly.
Please remember Sadie, her parents, Zach and Tiffany, and her little sisters, Sam and Olivia, in your prayers.
For more information about Sadie and to learn about DIPG log on to her blog at email@example.com.
We will never forget you, Sadie.
Note: Precious little Sadie passed away at 7:11 am Thursday morning. She went peacefully in the arms of her loving parents. Our hearts are broken.
I rarely recommend movies, but I couldn't resist this time. My friend Shelley and I saw The Proposal yesterday and loved it. It's a little more than your typical chick-flick (I am not knocking chick-flicks) and I laughed hysterically at some scenes.
Combined with popcorn and a Diet Coke (no Pepsi at my theater) it was a great afternoon escape. I highly recommend such diversions.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Kelly and I decided to take some pictures of Bailey today and we were shocked to realize how grown-up she looks. It's really hard to do a post on your grandaughter and not be absolutely obnoxious - so I'm not going to worry about it. I'm perfectly okay with being obnoxious. I waited a long time for a grandchild and I intend to finally take full advantage of the perks.
Bailey will be 15 months old on Saturday. I still pinch myself when I see her - she's almost too good to be true. When a rare day goes by that I don't see her I physically ache to hold her and get those sloppy kisses and hugs. There's a small, low window by our front door that is just the right size for Bailey to reach. Her routine is to put her face up to the window and wait for Nannas to open the door. The minute she sees me she screams with excitement. Can't get better than that.
Bailey is definitely her mother's child. She never walks. She runs...and climbs, and tries very hard to jump. She is never still. Never has a child been so excited to land on this planet. Her curiosity is insatiable and she greets every day with genuine anticipation for her next discovery. Seeing the world through her eyes has given me new perspective. Rocks and leaves and water and lizards are a little more interesting. It's a wonderful gift to witness the beauty of discovery.
Here are some facts you may not know about Bailey.
1. She's such a girl. She loves shoes and jewelry. Yesterday at Nordstrom Aunt
Lindsay put a necklace around her neck. She promptly walked over to a mirror,
smiled, and patted her hair. Three women said, "She is adorable and she knows
it, doesn't she?". Can't argue with that
2. She's a girl who knows what she wants - and she's quite vocal when she doesn't
get it. If yelling doesn't work, she falls back on her stand-by - bite anything
and anyone. Very cute.
3. She's been using sign language since she was about 8 months old. She knows about
15 signs. We mostly see "more" and "please" - even when she doesn't know what
she wants! Kelly says she wakes up every morning and, with her eyes barely open,
4. She gives the greatest kisses in the world. But, Jon gets a head butt.
5. Her language includes lots of vowels, but almost no consonants. She can give the
sounds of most animals, but insists that the cow says, "BAAAA". Who am I to
6. She loves books. She'll pick out a book, back up until she's snuggled in my
lap, lean against my chest, and turn the pages until she's "read" the book. The
whole process takes about 2 minutes, but is repeated several times.
7. She loves to be outside. When I go to her house, she grabs my finger and walks
me to the door. At my house, she's outside most of the time, usually playing
in the fountain until her fingers freeze.
8. Her favorite thing to do is drive my car. She knows how to find the nob for the wipers (and window wash), how to open the door, how to move the seat up and back, how to flip the seat warmers on, and how to turn on the signal. What she doesn't know is that she can't "drive" two hours a day.
9. Her favorite foods are spaghetti, mac and cheese, any juice, ice-cream, Nillas,
fruit, and french fries. Sounds kinda like my diet.
10. I could stare at her all day. There's finally someone in my family who can
live up to my Irish roots. She's very fair, has big brown eyes, and red hair - and a great-great grandmother named McAllister. She's absolutely the most
beautiful thing I've ever seen. We're never going to let her see a bottle of
11. I've never seen such a light sleeper. Circulating air wakes her up. I remember
my kids sleeping in the car, on the stairs, on the sofa, and about anywhere else.
Bailey only sleeps when the Earth stops spinning.
12. She loves escalators, but mostly the down part. I think she likes the people at
the bottom saying, "Look how cute!".
13. She likes to push, pull, and haul. We're quite sure she could challenge Baby
Huey. Once, she walked through the house carrying both of Dave's five-pound
weights. No kidding.
14. She loves Lindsay, but we figured out it's because Lindsay does her make-up.
15. Everywhere she goes people stop and talk to her. She, however, will not be
bothered with the serfs. This breaks Kelly's heart.
16. Kelly always wanted a cuddly, social child. She got a kid who doesn't liked to
be touched and only likes HER people.
17. Bailey believes that anything that looks like hers, is hers. And, she doesn't
hesitate to reclaim it.
18. She thinks she's a grown-up. Strollers are for her to push and high chairs are
for babies. She prefers a big person chair.
19. Her laugh is pure music...and she laughs constantly.
20. She loves the Black-Eyed Peas and chimes in with "Boom Boom Boom" when she hears
"Boom Boom Pow".
21. She does lunges every morning with Kelly. Her thighs have definition.
22. When Kelly tells her it's time to get dressed, she runs to her dresser to pick
out her outfit, then she chooses her shoes. When she's completely dressed she
checks herself out in the mirror.
23. She watches Handy Manny every morning. She actually brings the remote to Kelly.
24. She's intrigued by other children. I think she thinks they're dogs. She treats
them just like she does Oakley.
25. She's the closest thing to perfect I've ever seen.
Submitted by a truly obnoxious, totally smitten Nanna.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Lindsay has had an exciting couple of weeks. First, she was forced, at her doctor's request, to move from her apartment. Seems Lindsay and mold don't get along. That left her with less than two weeks to find another apartment and/or a roommate. Then, on Friday her Nordstrom's store manager told her there was a assistant manager's job opening at Fashion Valley in the jewelry department AND asked if she was interested. It's the opportunity she's been waiting for, so she didn't hesitate for a minute. With no interview or forewarning, she got a call on the next Friday from her current manager telling her that she had been offered the job. So, on Monday she became assistant manager of the fourth largest jewelry department in the Nordstrom's chain. She gets to tell people what to do, so she loves it.
Still, there was the apartment issue. She spent hours on the internet and we spent hours looking, but not much was happening. The places I would let her live in she couldn't afford. Rent here is ridiculous!!! Finally, last week Jon recommended a place near him in Mission Valley. We both loved it the minute we saw it. It doesn't look like an apartment complex, it looks like a resort. She got a one bedroom with a balcony and it's perfect for her.
I'm happy for her, but I couldn't help but think of the first apartment Mark and I had in Provo. It was probably about 500 square feet and had one bedroom, a living area, and a kitchen in a hallway. We used a card table and decorated with plywood and cinder blocks. We thought we were in heaven.
Lindsay's apartment complex has two pools, a hot tub, two gyms, a clubhouse, a grocery store, a spa, a couple of restaurants, a technology center, and a partridge in a pear tree. They provide cooking classes twice a week, an outdoor movie every Saturday night, a nutritionist, and every kind of workout class you can imagine. Her apartment is decorated to the hilt with furniture she bought a few years ago. Her balcony faces a courtyard with soothing fountains and tropical vegetation that could rival any resort I've ever seen.
I'm waiting for her to leave town so I can stay in her apartment. It's much nicer than my house.
Yes, I'm just a little jealous.
Monday, June 8, 2009
I few days ago I had a couple of hours to spare. That's a rare thing for me, so I took advantage of the situation and headed straight to Barnes and Noble. I meandered around the shelves for awhile, but wasn't desperate since I have a stack of 8 books on my dresser just waiting for me - a truly delicious state of being by the way.
After 10 minutes or so I headed to my ultimate destination and that, of course, was the children's section. I love children's books and have a rather admirable collection of well over 100 of my favorites. For several years, at Grossmont College, I taught a Language and Literature class and cultivated my love of children's books into a healthy obsession. Whenever I travel I bring two things home - one is a Christmas ornament and the other is a children's book. Every Christmas since the kids were very young I have selected and read a Christmas book to the family on Christmas Eve. It's one of our favorite traditions. Now that the kids are grown, I have had fewer opportunities to research new favorites. That was, of course, before Bailey was born. Now I have every excuse to return to my favorite obsession. That's how I ended up spending an hour reading children's books at Barnes and Noble.
There are good children's books and not so good. One thing I've learned, however, is that what I consider wonderful is not always in sync with kids. For example, Kelly loved Make Way for Ducklings. I found the illustrations boring and the story uneventful. Four-year-old Kelly would spend hours looking at the pictures and worrying about the baby ducks crossing the street. I left Barnes and Noble with only one book - one that I've loved for years. It's called The Carrot Seed. It's simple, but the story is so sweet. I was anxious to bring it home to Bailey and was thrilled when she signed "more" after the first reading - and after the second and third. She loves the book and enthusiastically shakes her head "no" when the parents say, "I'm afraid it won't come up." Since my children are not readers I sincerely hope that Bailey will grow to share my love of books. The signs are looking good.
I know you didn't ask, but I'd like to share some of my favorites with you. These are all for young children and are considered picture books. I'll have to come up with another list for older children.
1. The Napping House- my favorite picture book - or anything by Don and Audrey Wood
2. Good Night Moon
3. Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom
4. There's a Nightmare in my Closet
5. For slightly older children anything by Patricia Polacco
6. An authentic book of nursery rhymes
7. Any Spot book - for infants and toddlers
8. Caps for Sale
9. Any Corduroy or Curious George book
10. Any Elephant and Piggie book - I just discovered these and love them!
11. Amazing Grace
12. That Rain, That Sky - just because I love storms
13. Where the Wild Things Are
14. Tikki-Tikki Tembo
15. Are You My Mother?
17. Strega Nona
18. The Little Engine that Could
19. Rainbow Fish
20. Stone Soup
21. The Carrot Seed
22. The Paper Bag Princess - a must for young girls!
25. Any Fancy Nancy book - for girls
26. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie ...or a Pig a Pancake, etc.
28. The Little House
29. Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing
30. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Actually, it's an impossible list to make. I haven't even touched on my favorites. I recommend an hour or two alone in a bookstore to discover your favorites. By the way, I left off Dr. Seuss, though I really like some of his books. And, you won't see Disney books on my list even though I think they have a place.
If you haven't read any of these, give them a shot. You won't be disappointed. And, I'd love to hear about your favorites.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
You can't choose your kids. That's scary enough. What's even more scary, however, is trusting your kids to choose their mates. I've seen some "interesting" characters come through my front door - but, none more interesting than some invited by Kelly. There were some close calls, all thwarted I believe by the desperate pleas from Mark and me for divine intervention.
Kelly has always walked a somewhat convoluted path to get where she needs to be, so I shouldn't have been surprised when I saw her logging on to LDSplanet.com. But, I was. That is sooooooo not Kelly. Anyway, it only took a couple responses before Dave found her. They emailed, they talked, then they met. Kelly was pretty smitten - as was Dave. The entire courtship was about 6 months. They were married on July 22, 2006.
My first impression of Dave was.....we're going to eat him alive! He appeared painfully shy which did not compute in our family. What would we do with him? What would KELLY do with him? Would he ever be assertive enough to survive our crazy brood?
Those were all legitimate concerns, but proved to be irrelevant when I saw how much he loved my daughter. It's hard not to love someone who loves your daughter so completely. We later discovered that this union was meant to be. They both attended Utah State and one day while walking through the PE building, he saw Kelly's picture on a softball poster. The friend he was with knew Kelly and Dave asked if he would introduce them. They didn't meet then...but I guess it was destiny. Dave also has a certain "image" on his body that says Warnermaniacs.(I hope your Mom isn't reading this, Dave!) Sounds like a match to me!
Dave is one of the most patient people I've ever known. Any little thing that Kelly or I try to do that requires finesse and patience is usually, rather quickly, turned over to Dave. He fixes plumbing problems, electrical problems, and untangling. He also loves to do yardwork and, conveniently enough, I love to see him do it. He does the dishes better than anyone....well, he does finish the Sunday dishes on Monday...but everything is spotless when he's finished. He works hard and never complains.
So, all those things are good, but his real character came through when he survived Kelly's pregnancy. It was hard on Kelly, but it was brutal for Dave. He had never seen her without medication. It was the lamb and lion thing. Not many men could have maintained such devotion in the face of such stress. He didn't know what hit him, but he stayed strong and provided constant support during Kelly's most difficult time. That makes him a saint in my book.
I'm not sure I've ever seen such a devoted father as Dave. I marvel at his patience with Bailey. I've seen him sit forever on the stairs with her so she can walk up and down...up and down...and up and down. Often I see him on the floor in her room playing blocks or reading that favorite book again and again and again. He takes her for long walks, he bathes her, he changes as many diapers as Kelly, and he puts her to bed. He even joined her in "swimming" lessons. Bailey adores him.
In many respects the past few years have been difficult for Dave. Right after he and Kelly were married he finished his Master's Degree in Forensic Science. Seemed like a good idea. Then the recession hit and jobs have been very scarce. I can't even count the number of jobs he has pursued. He never lets up, but it has been hard.
We have assured him that he will get the right job when the time is right. Kelly has been very supportive, but still it's discouraging. We have prayed and fasted for him and we're absolutely sure that the tables will turn soon. He deserves to have that blessing in his life and it will come. Through it all, he has held his head up and continued to do what has to be done. I have genuine respect for his tenacity and complete trust in his ability to take care of his family.
So, I guess I got just what I ordered for Kelly. We love Dave. He still doesn't talk much, but that gives us more time to talk...and we don't mind that. He's good and honest (and handsome) and he has been a wonderful husband to Kelly and a truly amazing father to Bailey. He is devoted to the church and gladly fulfills his callings. He is neat, clean, dresses nice....and hold on.....he cooks! And cleans. And laughs at my jokes. And has a great body (see above).
What more could I ask for?